07 June 2017
Crimes of the Fathers: a former Seminarian writes of his fury over the extent of clerical sexual abuse in Australia
One of Australia’s greatest living writers, a former seminarian, writes of his shock and fury as the extent of sexual abuse by priests in his native country has been revealed / By Thomas Keneally
I doubt that any Prince of the Church would consider me his child, yet the truth is that in many ways I am irremediably so. I’m not the first ambiguous Catholic to reflect that leaving the Church is the easy part – it’s getting the Church to leave you that is, for various reasons, not all of them healthy, often the vain struggle of a lifetime.
I was raised in the Church in Australia at a time when it was extremely Hibernian in both senior personnel and membership. Troops of Catholics from Italy, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Holland would arrive gradually in the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, but in my childhood the Catholic Church was an Irish one. The Church and the Australian Labor Party were close, since social justice was important for a faithful predominantly working class or lower middle class.
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